Flight of the GermFalcon: How a Potential Coronavirus-Killing Airplane Sterilizer Was Born

IEEE Spectrum  March 9, 2020 Many of the chemicals used in hospitals are not approved for use on an aircraft. And some of the ones that are, aren’t nearly as effective or practical as assumed. A company in the US is building a machine called GermFalcon that uses ultraviolet light to wipe out coronavirus and other germs inside an airplane. The key design constraints for bringing UV-C sterilization into air travel were geometry, time, and power. They used retired airplanes to get the necessary measurements. GermFalcon has not been tested on any airlines so far…read more.

Super lightweight foam uses sunlight to harvest water from evaporation

Nanowerk  March 10, 2020 Researchers in Italy have developed a hydrophilic and self-floating photothermal foam that can generate potable water from seawater and atmospheric moisture via solar-driven evaporation at its interface. Specifically, the foam shows an excellent solar-evaporation rate of 1.89 kg m–2 h–1 with a solar-to-vapor conversion efficiency of 92.7% under 1-Sun illumination. The collected water is suitable for potable use. The foam can be repeatedly used in multiple hydration–dehydration cycles, consisting of moisture absorption or water collection, followed by solar-driven evaporation; in each cycle, 1 g of the foam can harvest 250–1770 mg of water. The lightweight and […]

Light moves spins around

Nanowerk  February 17, 2020 When complex material systems are exposed to ultrashort light pulses of only a few tens of femtosecond duration the light pulse can also permanently reverse the magnetization. Researchers in Germany show that an optical inter-site spin transfer (OISTR) from Pt to Co emerges as a dominant mechanism governing the ultrafast magnetization dynamics of a CoPt alloy. To demonstrate this, they performed a joint theoretical and experimental investigation to determine the transient changes of the helicity dependent absorption in the extreme ultraviolet spectral range. They showed that the helicity dependent absorption is directly related to changes of […]

Developing a digital twin

Eurekalert  December 5, 2019 A team of researchers in the US ( UT Austin, MIT, industry) is working on Dynamic Data-Driven Application Systems (DDDAS), a project sponsored by the US Air Force, to develop a predictive digital twin for a custom-built UAV. The twin represents each component of the UAV, as well as its integrated whole. The twin also ingests on-board sensor data from the vehicle and integrates that information with the model to create real-time predictions of the health of the vehicle. They paired computational modeling is paired with machine learning to produce predictions that are reliable, and explainable. […]

New water-based optical device revolutionizes the field of optics research

Phys.org  November 20, 2019 Researchers in Japan have developed a light modulator using the Pockels effect of water in a nanometer-thick electric double layer on an electrode surface. The modulator comprises a transparent-oxide electrode on a glass substrate immersed in an aqueous electrolyte solution. When an optical beam is incident such that it is totally reflected at the electrode-water interface, the light is modulated at a specific wavelength with a near-100% modulation depth synchronized with the frequency of the applied AC voltage. Pockels effect has applications in optical engineering, optical communication, displays and electric sensors and the enhancement principle opens […]

New study describes conduction through proteins

Nanowerk  October 31, 2019 A team of researchers at the Arizona State University describes techniques for affixing the DNA polymerase to electrodes to generate strong conductance signals by means of two specialized binding chemicals biotin and streptavidin. When one electrode was functionalized using this technique, small conductance spikes were generated as the DNA polymerase successively bound and released each nucleotide, like a grasping hand catching and releasing a baseball. When both electrodes were outfitted with streptavidin and biotin, much stronger conductance signals, measuring 3-5 times as large, were observed. The new method hopes to take a different approach, using the […]

Study shows ability to detect light from UV to the IR optical regimes using spin currents

EurekAlert  October 29, 2019 The spin Seebek effect (SSE) is one of three known ways to generate spin current. The SSE occurs when a thermal gradient is created across a material and, depending on how it is measured, results in an electrical potential. As the spin Seebeck effect is based on creating a temperature difference, a team of researchers in the US (University of Wyoming, Colorado State University) is exploiting this property to produce a device that detects light through pure spin currents which are the magnetic analog of electrical currents. Oriented spin is the magnetic component of fundamental particles, […]

Groundbreaking method detects defective computer chips

TechXplore  October 7, 2019 An international team of researchers (Switzerland, University of Southern California) has developed a technique called ptychographic X-ray laminography which utilizes x-rays from a synchrotron to illuminate a small region of a rotating chip at an angle of 61 degrees (with respect to the normal of the chip plane). The resulting diffraction patterns are measured with a photon-counting detector array. The data are used to generate high-resolution slice images of the chip, from which 3-D renderings are created. The 3-D image can be compared with the original design as a type of forensics to help companies or […]

China Publishes Research on Competitive 3-Nanometer Chip

Next Big Future  May 29, 2019 Researchers in China have fabricated high-performance negative capacitance p-type FinFETs (p-FinFETs) with a 3-nm-thick ferroelectric (FE) hafnium zirconium oxides layer based on a conventional high-κ metal gate FinFETs fabrication flow. The devices show improved subthreshold swing values and slight hysteresis voltages with the integrated FE film and a strong driving current enhancement (up to 260%) is also obtained compared with that of conventional FinFETs. The inherent reasons for the improved characteristics contribute to the low-interface state density and perfect channel electrostatic integrity. Samsung, Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor will be commercially producing 3-nanometer chips in […]